COVID-19 Stimulus Check: Mnuchin Says Senate Will Discuss ‘Targeted Bill’ This Week

Getty U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin speaks to the media while flanked by White House National Economic Council director Larry Kudlow in the briefing room at the White House on July 2, 2020, in Washington, D.C.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said both he and President Donald Trump support another stimulus payment and are looking at proposing a “targeted bill” this week. The comments came during Mnuchin’s appearance on Fox News Sunday with host Brett Baier.

During the interview, Mnuchin said, “The president and I believe we should do more stimulus. We have about 7 1/2 million jobs we need to get back until we’re back to where we were and we want to help small businesses, we want to help businesses that are particularly impacted by this and we’ll continue to work on proposed new legislation.”

Discussions over a second stimulus check have been deadlocked in recent days, although the relief payment is still on the table and both sides of the aisle are supportive of a second stimulus payment, CNBC reported. The Senate is set to return from recess on September 8, while the House of Representatives will return on September 14.

Mnuchin Said They Will ‘Move Forward’ With a Targeted Bill This Week

During his interview, Mnuchin accused Speaker Nancy Pelosi of refusing to negotiate unless Republicans can agree to “something like a $2.5 trillion-dollar deal in advance.” He continued, “We put $3 trillion into the economy when the economy was completely shut down, we’ve now reopened the economy, let’s do a more targeted bill now, if we need to do more in 30 days, we’ll continue to do more but let’s not hold up the American workers and American businesses that need more support.”

Baier asked Mnuchin if they would be looking at a “skinny” stimulus bill, to which Mnuchin replied, “I’d like to call it a more targeted bill but yes, our expectation is we will move forward with that next week.” The treasury secretary said he believes the negotiations are stalled “both on certain policy issues but more importantly on the topline.”

Despite not agreeing over the details of a second stimulus check, Mnuchin told Baier that he and Pelosi have agreed to avoid a government shutdown. He said, “The Speaker and I have agreed we both don’t want to see a government shutdown so we are going to do a clean CR [continuing resolution]. I hope by the end of the week we can begin moving forward on that.”

A targeted bill is expected to allocate “$300 in boosted weekly federal unemployment benefits until Dec. 27, another round of money for the Paycheck Protection Program and an additional $10 billion for the U.S. Postal Service and liability protections,” according to Politico.

Democrats & Republicans Both Support a Second Stimulus Payment but Have Not Been Able to Agree on Details

The good news for Americans waiting on news of a second stimulus check is that both sides of the aisle continue to support a second round of stimulus checks and are willing to negotiate to make it happen. AS reported that discussions resumed this week, with Mnuchin saying, “What’s more important is … getting money to American workers, American families, kids. There are tremendous areas of agreement, and that’s what we should be doing right away. I would publicly say I am willing to sit down at the negotiating table with the speaker with no conditions whatsoever any time.”

However, the outlet reported that Pelosi issued a statement with a different tone after a phone call with Mnuchin, saying, “Sadly, this phone call made clear that Democrats and the White House continue to have serious differences understanding the gravity of the situation that America’s working families are facing.”

Vice President Mike Pence also expressed the White House’s support for another round of payments, as CNBC reported. “Nobody wants to give direct payments to American families more than President Donald Trump,” Pence said. “We sent those checks to American families. It helped people through this tough time.”

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